We previously demonstrated that increased Fas expression in T cells of aged CD2-fas transgenic (Fas-Tg) CD-1 mice results in an increased immune response and T cell apoptosis. Surprisingly, despite prevention of T cell immune senescence, the average life span of Fas-Tg mice is comparable with that of nontransgenic (non-Tg) mice. Histopathologic evaluation of tissue sections showed that nearly 50% of the aged (>18-mo-old) Fas-Tg mice developed renal amyloid A amyloidosis, whereas no amyloid deposition was observed in aged non-Tg mice. The amyloid A deposition was observed primarily in glomeruli by using immunohistochemical stains and electron microscopy. The full-length amino acid coding sequence of serum amyloid A2 cDNA in CD-1 mice was identical to that of amyloid A amyloidosis-susceptible BALB/c mice. Although there was no significant difference in steady-state serum amyloid A level in the serum of aged non-Tg and Fas-Tg mice, challenging mice with staphylococcal enterotoxin B resulted in significantly higher serum levels of serum amyloid A on day 2 and IL-6 on days 1 and 2 and a higher magnitude of weight loss on day 7 in aged Fas-Tg mice compared with young mice. These parameters, at the indicated time points, were equivalent between young and aged non-Tg mice. Taken together, our data suggest that prevention of T cell senescence in Fas-Tg mice may be a factor in induction of an excessive acute-phase response triggered by T cell activation. The Fas-Tg mice are a novel model for understanding the immunologic mechanisms leading to secondary amyloidosis.

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